Reviewed by LaShelle D. Scott
TAGS: Christina M. Greer, Oxford University Press, Black ethnics, The American Dream, Black immigration
In Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, Christina M. Greer gives readers historical insight on how immigrants of African descent from other countries view race in the United States, and how that same immigration affects achievement (both individually and as part of a group), and the American politics of race. The book touches on crucial points regarding the alleged validity of race, and how many immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean believe that racism is not prevalent in the United States, despite evidence to the contrary. Greer also provides thought-provoking statistics on voting patterns of African Americans versus immigrants of African descent. Her positions regarding the juxtaposition of race, politics and immigration are bolstered by data, and footnotes that reiterate the theme of the book.
One of the excellent points made in the book was regarding voting patterns between African and Caribbean immigrants, and African Americans born in the U.S. However, some of the research was confusing. (i. e., only surveying a New York labor union) and . Despite the seemingly narrow focus of Greer's research, her results about the behavior of African and Caribbean immigrants toward African Americans born in the United States did underscore that, even if some do not believe, there is an underlying paradigm shift with regard to race, politics, and immigration as "African Americans" are breaking out into more and more discrete groups (e.g., "Caribbean" or "African" instead of Black; "Jamaican" or "Trinidadian" instead of "Caribbean"; "Nigerian" or "Cameroonian" instead of "African"). Unfortunately for Greer, the extended focus on politics and immigration, with regard to race, lacked the clarity and pointed thematics of the primary theme of the book, which was race and immigration versus upward mobility. Thankfully, the footnotes provided the information necessary to allay any reader confusion.
While informative, Black Ethnics reads more like a dissertation than a general, nonfiction tome. As a result, this reviewer would recommend this book for a student, especially a higher education student looking to major in ethics, but not to the general public.
LaShelle Scott, MPM is a full-time doctoral student in the Doctorate of Business Program at Capella University, and a Project Management consultant.